Ayurvedic Treatment for Anxiety Disorders in Kids uses Ayurveda, Yoga and Meditation techniques to get optimum results. Anxiety is a normal emotional state of mind and children feel worried or anxious from time to time like when they are going to school or a new area. But in some children, anxiety affects their thoughts and behaviour in such a way that it affects their school, home, or social life. In younger children, separation anxiety is common whereas in teenagers the social anxiety is common.
- Signs and symptoms of Anxiety disorder in children
- Causes of anxiety disorder in children
- Diagnosis of Anxiety disorder in children
- Treatments of Anxiety disorder in children
- Prognosis of Anxiety disorder in children
- Complications of Anxiety disorder in children
- Chittodwega in Ayurveda
- Nidana- Causes of Chittodwega
- Samprapti or maturation of Chittodwega
- Chikitsa (Treatment) of Chittodwega
- Commonly used medicines to treat anxiety disorder in children
- Home remedies and Diet
Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms presented by children with anxiety disorder includes,
- Difficulty in concentrating tasks
- Disturbed sleep and waking from sleep due to bad dreams
- Less food intake or lack of interest in food
- Getting angry or irritable
- Always having negative thoughts and getting worried about things
- Complaining of feeling unwell or always crying
Types of Anxiety disorder in Children
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Selective mutism
- Social anxiety disorder
- Specific phobias
- Separation anxiety disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
Children with Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autistic spectrum disorders are more prone to develop an anxiety disorder. Children living among anxious people also possess the chance to develop this condition. The other causes include,
- Fighting or arguing parents
- Frequent change of schools or home
- Death or separation of near friends or relatives
- Getting abused or neglected
- School-related issues like exams or severe punishments there
- Accidents or serious illness
A trained person can talk with the children, ask questions, and listen carefully so that anxiety disorder can be diagnosed. The questions like how and when the child’s fears and anxiety happen most are asked which helps to diagnose the type of anxiety disorder.
Management of anxiety disorder in children includes,
- Counselling – this helps to diagnose the type of anxiety disorder present and help children to what makes them anxious. Also, help them to work through the situation
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)- This aims to train the children to survive situations that make them anxious
- Medications include antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors which work by raising levels of serotonin. This enables the brain to communicate better, helping to reduce anxiety and improve mood. Also can give anti-anxiety medication, such as alprazolam or clonazepam, for children and teens with anxiety that prevents them from attending school or performing everyday activities.
Childhood anxiety can be effectively managed by the effective combination of behavioural therapy and medications.
The possible complication that can develop in advance of time includes,
- Depression or other mental health disorders
- Disturbed sleep
- Misuse of objects
- Chronic headache
- Social isolation and difficulty in working at office and schools
Disease and Ayurveda
In Ayurveda, Anxiety can be termed as Chittodwega. It can occur in children also and the symptoms and management are similar to the adults but the medicines should be selected considering the age.
Chittodwega or Anxiety is caused due to the vitiation of Vata dosha and it gets affected to persons having poor satwa bala (health of mind). Genetic involvement is also considered. The etiological factors include,
- Virudha ahara and vihara (improper daily regimens)
- Excessive intake of foods which are ruksha (fat-free diet), alpa (low portion size or serving size of food/low-calorie diet), sheeta (cold food) in nature
- Depletion of body tissues, excessive fasting, etc.
- Manasika vikaras (emotions of mind) like fear, sorrow, etc. can vitiate vata dosha.
The aggravated vata spreads and afflicts the heart of the child who has excessive psychological stress or fear. They spread upwards and occupy the channels of the upper parts of the body (head or heart) causing the disease
Lakshana Signs and Symptoms
The symptoms can be associated with both mind and boy. The symptoms include,
- Indriyopagata (altered sensations)
- Utsahabhramsa (lack of enthusiasm)
- Feeling of sadness
- Some somatic symptoms like loss of appetite, etc. are seen
- The child may show irritability or even outburst of aggressiveness.
- May show difficulties in learning.
By using Ayurveda drugs of medhya guna (nootropic effect) it is possible to cure child anxiety. The regimens like Suvarna prasana said in Ayurveda helps to prevent psychological problems in children.
The Ayurvedic treatment for anxiety in children makes extensive use of herbs to calm the adrenals and to balance the brain hormones. Brahmi (Bocopa monnieri), Shankhapushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis) and Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi ) are a few of the most common. The management of this condition includes,
- Nidana parivarjana is staying away from the causes of disease.
- Abhyanga (oil massage), Snehana (oleation), swedana (sudation) followed by emesis or purgation can be adapted accordingly. Enema especially with oils that is anuvasana vasthi can be done.
- Siropichu, siroabhyanga, sirodhara, etc.
- Proper internal medications like medhya (nootropic) drugs
- Symptomatic treatment can be chosen for lack of appetite, etc.
Commonly used medicines
- Brahmi ghritam
- Kalyanaka ghritam
- Swarna bhasma with ghee and honey
- Manasamitra Vatakam
- Aswagandhadi Churna
- Drakshadi kashayam
- Brahmi Drakshadi kashayam
- Abhyanga (oil massage) with Dhanwantharam thailam, Vatasini thailam, Ksheerabala thailam
- Aryavaidyasala Kottakkal
- Vaidyaratnam Oushadasala
- Art therapy includes the activities allowing kids to make their relaxation
- Have a sound sleep
- A healthy diet should be followed.
- Training given to parents to guide such children
- Stay them active and allow them to be with peer group
- Diet should include yoghurt, eggs, omega 3 rich foods like flax seeds, salmon fish because they stimulate serotonin
- Plenty of water intake
Yoga’s methodical approach to breathing and moving makes it an excellent option for anxious children to learn strong coping skills. Simple postures like Marjarasana, Sisu asana, etc. can be practised by children. Breathing exercises can also be practised.
- Anuloma viloma pranayama
Research articles link.